Do you ever wish you could jump in a time machine, visit your younger self and tell her what you know now?
I really wish I could go back and speak to the young girl in the white dress in the picture below. 18 years old and off to her sixth form ball, the end of an era and life as she knew it. This was the start of the rest of her life, a new chapter of learning and becoming a young adult….
Why did we hate ourselves so much as teenagers?
I decided to write this poem after coming across this old picture from the night of my sixth form ball. I remember my Mum taking it and I can remember her trying to tell me how lovely I looked. I didn’t believe her and was off to check my hair and lipstick for at least the tenth time in an hour. I remember standing there and fighting back tears. I felt like I looked a mess and refused to leave the house because I didn’t look right. I ended up being late as usual because I wouldn’t leave the house until I had preened myself over and over again!!
I was so unbelievably insecure, nervous and worried about everything back then, I don’t know why? I used to starve myself to stay thin and hated eating and I used to do whatever I could to avoid doing it. I thought at a size 8/10, I was far too big??What I’d give to be a size 8 now! Back then my every waking hour was consumed with trying to look good and fit in!
All teenagers hate themselves a little, it’s called teenage angst for a reason. It is only once we are older when our bodies bare the signs of motherhood, life and battles, that we finally appreciate what we had and wish we still had it!! We end up wondering why on earth we put ourselves down so much, picked holes in ourselves and had no confidence as teenagers?! Why do we only ever appreciate something after it’s gone?
I think schools need to do far more self esteem and self confidence work with children. Qualifications are important but so are confident, happy teenagers who know their self worth and know they are capable of anything they want to achieve. They should be able to hold their heads high and believe in themselves, not be full of doubt, fear and self loathing.
If we could only just go back for a day and visit our younger self……….What would you say to the younger you?
I have a daughter and no matter how crazy the fashion gets or whatever phase she goes through, I’ll make sure I will tell her everyday how beautiful she is. I’ll tell her to just live and enjoy every precious moment and live without regret. I will help her to believe in herself and her worth and that beauty is far more than skin deep. She’ll hopefully be strong and she’ll hopefully be happy just being herself. I truly hope she never suffers her mothers insecurities, life is far too short to worry. I say all of this but my Mum used to tell me all of these things, always building me up and never pulling me down. None of it went in, especially once the teenage hormones kicked in, I still suffer with self confidence at times to this day! I still fret about what to wear and will often go through my whole wardrobe before I find something to wear. The difference now is that I do find something and I do still go out, back then, I’d cancel plans if I felt like I looked horrible. I’ve grown up and realised life’s too short and we just need to be happy and have fun!
Young Girl Don’t Cry
Young girl, know your worth, claim your path upon this earth.
Stand up for yourself and be true to you, there is so much out there, for you to do.
So many adventures that you must make, the world is an oyster for you to take.
Please don’t be scared, reach for the sky, live for today, young girl, don’t cry.
You are so young and have so much life to live. You are gentle and kind with so much love to give.
Young girl please believe me, you look beautiful in that dress, please stop thinking you look such a mess.
Have fun, be young, make memories that last forever, enjoy your friends and the time you have together.
For one day soon you and your friends will be grown, together time will be less and less as you follow careers and raise families of your own. You’ll miss these days and the care free fun. Young girl, just be happy, this is your life and there is only one.
Please, please see what I can see, you have everything going for you, please believe me.
You don’t need to hide behind a mask of makeup, trying to look perfect from the minute you wake up. Your natural beauty truly shines through, you are so young, just be happy being you. You are only 18 with so much life to live, so much love in your heart and so much to give.
Please stop trying to grow up so fast, these days are the best so make them last.
Please stop worrying about what other people think, life is far too short and it’s gone in a blink.
Young girl please, please believe me, you have so much to give, so much to see.
One day you will be older and looking back at what you had, you will think of all those times you cried and it will make you really sad.
People are going to come and people are going to go. You will get your heart broken but it’s going to make you grow.
Each Year you will grow stronger and you will learn to see, that life is for living and what will be will be.
You will realise life can be cruel and life can be tough. You will learn to enjoy the smooth and battle the rough. In the future you will have a battle to endure and you’ll surprise all of those around you as you overcome more and more.
In the future you are strong and nothing scares you. You take on all the knocks of life and you battle through. Just know that when things get you down and you are feeling scared, this is part of your life training you and getting you prepared.
Make the most of that body, don’t hide it away. Listen to the nice things that people say. Take that compliment and shine as bright as can be, you have nothing to hide, please young girl trust me.
One day you will look back and wish you could be, so young, full of life, fresh faced and pretty. You’ll look back and wonder why you couldn’t see what you had, you’ll remember how you felt and it will make you mad.
You will look back at you now and really wonder why, your looks and your body often made you cry.
You will wonder why you couldn’t see your worth or why you didn’t claim your path on this earth.
Young girl you have a battle ahead of you so make these moments count and do whatever you want to do.
Please don’t hold back because you think you can’t do it, this life is yours and there is no limit.
You can be whatever you want to be, you have nothing to prove, please believe me.
One day you will have two beautiful children who you’ll completely adore, you’ll realise what life is worth living for.
You’ll look at your daughter so young and care free and hope she’ll grow to be all she can be.
You will teach her to always see her worth and you’ll make sure she claims her place on the earth.
You will support your children guided by lessons you’ve had to learn. You will tell them trust is something, that people in their life must earn. You will teach them to be brave and teach them to be strong. You will teach them to work out the right from the wrong. You will teach them not to let others bring them down. You will teach them when life gets teally tough to keep smiling and never frown.
Young girl, trust me, you don’t realise how strong you are, all the knocks and the heartbreak are going to take you far.
Each knock is preparing you for the future to come, you have so much ahead that you’ll need to overcome. Overcome and then inspire your own, teach them to stand tall and watch them grow.
So be kind to yourself and realise your worth, claim your path upon this earth.
One day soon your spirit will break free, you’ll start to be all you wanted to be. You won’t let life hold you back or stop you, you will do whatever you want to do.
You will of realised just how short life is, you’ll of survived your battles and decided to live. You’ll be proud of yourself and all you have become, proud of all the things you’ve seen and you’ve done.
So young girl don’t worry, just be happy, just be free. This is the fun part, please believe me. Live all you can live and be all you can be.
Your life is for living so embrace each day, please don’t worry about what others may say.
The world is your oyster, no distance too far, be all you can be and all that you are.
Your older self
#teenager #growingupfast #anxiety